Under Clyde Blowers Capital’s (CBC) ownership from 2007 to 2011, Clyde Union Pumps (CUP) embarked upon a period of rapid global growth due to a strategy centred around increasing customer intimacy, excelling in product leadership and improving operational excellence. All of which helped to transform the traditional engineering business into a leading global organisation in the design, manufacture, and service of engineered pump solutions.
On 8th May 2007, Clyde Blowers completed the acquisition of the Weir Pumps (Glasgow), a pump technology and engineering specialist, from Weir Group for £48m.
Rebranding the company as Clyde Pumps, Clyde Blowers CEO Jim McColl, commented at the time of the acquisition:
“Our vision for Clyde Pumps is to be a centre of excellence in pump technology, hydraulic design and engineering. We will establish this through engaging the best designers and engineers, our aim being to re-establish this business as a world leader in the markets in which it operates.”
In 2007, Clyde Pumps had just one manufacturing location, 535 employees, an annual revenue of £45m and an EBITDA of £4.5m. All would be set to dramatically increase over the course of CBC’s tenure as they took to the task of creating a world leader in pump engineering solutions.
A key component highlighted by Clyde Blowers in their strategy to create a world-leading business, was identifying strategic acquisition opportunities, enhancing Clyde Pumps’ expertise and increasing their geographic footprint.
In late 2008 Clyde Blowers Capital (CBC) acquired Union Pump, part of the Fluid and Power Division of Textron Inc, successfully executing the deal in a challenging environment in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. Union Pump and Clyde Union were then merged to form Clyde Union Pumps.
Following the merger, CUP was now the 7th largest pumps manufacturer globally and top five in the markets in which they operated. Leveraging the capabilities inherited from Union Pump, the business was now set for a period of rapid international growth.
At the time of CBC’s exit from the company in 2011, CUP was undoubtedly a leading player within the pump solutions market, experiencing a remarkable period of growth.
In 2011 CUP had a total of 9 global manufacturing locations, an unrivalled global service network with 25 service facilities across the globe, and presence in over 100 countries.
The financial improvements recorded during this period were stellar. At the end of CBC’s four year ownership, CUP impressively recorded over £300m in revenue in 2011 (over £255m increase from 2007) and £40m EBITDA (a £34.5m increase from 2007). Furthermore, a staggering 60% growth of the business was achieved organically with an additional 40% through acquisition.
As a result of realising their goal of growing CUP into a global industry champion, there was inevitably an enormous amount of interest in the business. Consequently, CBC successfully exited the business in December 2011 to SPX, a listed US industrial conglomerate, delivering a market-leading return on invested capital.